Monday, 18 August 2008

Disaster Plans - Make Sure You Have One!!

On Friday last week there was a fire at the King's Hotel in Darlington.

Latimer Hinks Solicitors is "sandwiched" between the King's Hotel and other businesses.

It's a very strange layout. Latimer Hinks has been situated in Priestgate since 1872, we're kind of like a tardis, we look small on the outside, but once inside you find a warren of rooms and floors.

The back of Latimer Hinks faces out onto some of the rooms within the King's Hotel, there is a square of land inbetween Latimer Hinks and the back of the Kings Head (only accessible by our fire exits and a small walkway from the main street). Part of the Kings Head also goes above some of our offices - a flyover.

The fire was an event which was obviously out of our control and at one point was out of control for the fire crew!

See the full story here - if you look at the top right of the photo you can just see the square of land at the back of the Latimer Hinks offices - that's how close we were to the fire!

Priestgate had to be evacuated and the Latimer Hinks Disaster Plan put in place. Luckily the fire started in the early hours and by 7am calls were made to staff asking them not to turn up from work.

Judith Middleton was in charge - you'll find Judith's comments here

If you don't have a Disaster Plan, think about writing one. You'll find some useful information here.

Luckily, no-one was hurt. Guests from the King's Head got to stay at the local leisure centre and the wedding reception that was arranged for that day was also transferred to the Dolphin Centre.

So, all in all businesses, wedding and hotel guests had a lucky escape thanks to the Fire Brigade and the various Disaster Plans that were in operation that day.

Oh, and Latimer Hinks did not sustain any damage, although my room smelly very "sooty"!

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